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Revista de Administração Pública

Print version ISSN 0034-7612On-line version ISSN 1982-3134


LEITE, Cristiane Kerches da Silva; FONSECA, Francisco César Pinto da  and  HOLANDA, Bruna de Morais. Images and narratives of the Bolsa Família Program: analysis of the rhetoric in mainstream press. Rev. Adm. Pública [online]. 2019, vol.53, n.5, pp.879-898.  Epub Nov 11, 2019. ISSN 1982-3134.

This article analyzes the production of narratives, images, and causal stories constructed by the mainstream press (Folha de S. Paulo and O Estado de S. Paulo newspapers) on the Bolsa Família Program (PBF). These narratives are derived from theoretical orientations for public policies that are still underdeveloped in Brazil: the post-positivist and cognitive theories, which characterizes this article as an innovative analytical effort. The study assessed the dispute over image monopoly using quantitative and qualitative analysis of journalistic materials published between 2003 and 2017. As a result, categories of images were formulated (handouts, insufficiency, electoral marketing, and populism), interpreted by Albert Hirschman’s “theses” and John Campbell’s typologies. The study concluded that there is a disconnection between the narratives created by the mainstream press on the one hand, and the public sentiment favorable to the program and its impacts on the other. This is mainly derived from evaluative studies elaborated by different epistemic communities related to public policies, nationally and internationally. This research corroborated the hypothesis that the mainstream press acted as a political/ideological actor who did the conservative resistance challenging the advancement of the social rights agenda in Brazil, by repeatedly reproducing conservative theses listed in Hirschman in their arguments and causative stories.

Keywords : social policy; press; cognitive analisys; Bolsa Família Program; policy image.

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